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I hit publish on yesterday’s post, “You CAN Tell a Book by its Cover,” and realized I forgot to mention the most obvious point . . . the TITLE of the book. Duh. I wrote about the artwork, synopsis, and book reviews on the jacket, but what about the title!?! However, in many cases the title doesn’t tell you a darn thing about the book.

Simple titles have caused me to pause and pick up the book as I did with Room by Emma Donoghue. Others have me curious, such as The Life of Pi by Yann Martel and Khadel Hosseini’s The Kite Runner. I’m not a mathematician or a kite flyer (I’m not at all anti-kite flying), but I had to see what those books were about.

Book titles grab your attention as much, or maybe more so than the cover art. I got to thinking about some of our more unusual book titles. For example:

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Persig

Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The titles above tell us nothing about what is inside the book, but don’t they make you want to pick them up? Maybe my examples are things everyone on the planet has read already, but when you step back and look at them with an “I never-read-that-book eye,” the titles are rather obtuse. They don’t hint at what the book is about or scream, “This book is about unrequited love,” or “How my dad worked on social injustice.”

These titles fall short of summarizing the plot with a lovely grace. But you pick them up. Hmmmmmm……what is inside?

What book titles made you buy the book solely based on the title? Why?

Want an example from me? I bought A Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small in Mooreland, Indiana by Havel Kimmel because I wanted to know why she was called Zippy.  Charming book by the way.

Happy weekend everyone!